Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Parents in the Lockport City School District don’t have to worry about kids losing their lunch money. And they can also keep an eye on what they’re children are having for lunch at school.
Starting this week, the district will use an online program where families can pay for their children’s meals at school from the comfort of their home computer. MyPaymentsPlus allows parents to set up an account for each of their kids attending Lockport schools and lets them track electronically how much is being spent and view what is purchased.
Deborah Coder, assistant superintendent for finance at Lockport City Schools, said the district has been looking at such an online program for a little over two years.
Knowing Horizon Software, which runs MyPaymentsPlus and has worked with Lockport schools before, was working on a new online payment system, the district decided to hold off until it was operational.
“We were waiting for this,” Coder said.
MyPaymentsPlus will be used at each Lockport school for student lunches and breakfasts. For those who choose not to participate, cash can still be used to pay for meals.
Horizon, an international company that specializes in food service software and technology, installed the payment program for free. It was a software upgrade, so the district did not incur any additional cost with MyPaymentsPlus.
Coder said MyPaymentsPlus is designed to be expanded to include payments for other items, such as yearbooks or admission to athletic or school events. It was another reason Lockport waited for Horizon’s system.
But for now, Lockport schools will focus on just breakfast and lunch.
The system has been installed and is up and running, Coder said. There is also a MyPaymentsPlus reference guide available at each Lockport school and on the district website.
Parents can log on to register an account for their child, who will then be given a short, easy-to-remember identification number to use until they graduate. Parents can make a payment of any amount and choose to be notified when that account is low. There is also an auto replenish function, where a credit or debit card is charged when the account total hits a certain amount.
There is a fee however, which varies on the type of meal program a student is enrolled in. For reduced lunches of .25 cents, the fee is 1 penny extra. For a full year of regular priced lunches, it’s $9.41.
And paying for meals isn’t the only thing parents can do online.
Like a few other schools, the Lockport district already offers the Parent Portal. It’s an online program on the district website that gives parents access to their child’s academic information. Parents just have to log on to see their child’s grades, progress reports, attendance and assignments. There is also a student version, allowing kids to see grades, attendance and schedules.
Lockport’s policy manual has been on the district website for a while. At a Board of Education meeting last month, Robert LiPuma, Lockport’s director of assessment and technology, said the online manual is updated as soon as policies are approved by the Board of Education.Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241.